Author Archive

print a text by specifying the width via a variable

July 11, 2014 Leave a comment

You want to print a text using a certain width that you want to specify via a variable. Running example:

$ ./ 
Width: 10
'     World'
Width: 20
'               World'


for _ in range(2):
    width = int(raw_input("Width: "))
    print("'{0:>{w}}'".format("World", w=width))

The sign ‘>‘ can be omitted. It simply means “align to the right”.

Tip from here.

Categories: python Tags: ,

Django show_urls formatter

July 11, 2014 Leave a comment

Today I wrote a little script to beautify the output of the command “ show_urls“. The script is available on GitHub here. For more info, visit the previous GitHub link.

Normal usage:

$ ./ show_urls


Adding the beautifier:

$ ./ show_urls |


awesome Python

July 2, 2014 1 comment

awesome-python is a curated list of awesome Python frameworks, libraries and software. Inspired by awesome-php.

Have you ever wondered what kind of packages to use for geolocation for instance? Here you will find the answer.

The good thing is that the libraries are put in categories.

Categories: python

built-in Python modules you should know

June 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Here is an interesting thread about built-in modules that you should know: . If you wonder how to improve your Python knowledge, check ‘em out.

In the thread some useful 3rd party modules are also listed.

Categories: python Tags:

call a function by knowing its name as a string

June 24, 2014 Leave a comment

I want to call a function but its name is stored in a string. How to do that?

I wanted to create a menu where the user can select which entry to call. It looks like this:

(1)[r] radio
(2)[ctd] create temp. directory
[m] menu
[q] <

In Python I stored it like this:

menu = OrderedDict()
menu[(1, 'r')] = ('radio', '')
menu[(2, 'ctd')] = ('create temp. directory', 'apps.temp_folder.create_temp_folder')

That is, if the user selects “1“, then must be called.

Here is the method that can call the appropriate function:

import importlib

def start_app(val):
    Call a function by name (string).
    Tip from here: .
    _, to_call = val
    function_string = to_call # ex.: ''
    mod_name, func_name = function_string.rsplit('.', 1)
    mod = importlib.import_module(mod_name)
    func = getattr(mod, func_name)

The tip is from here.

extract all links from a file

June 17, 2014 Leave a comment

You want to extract all links (URLs) from a text file.


def extract_urls(fname):
    with open(fname) as f:
        return re.findall('http[s]?://(?:[a-zA-Z]|[0-9]|[$-_@.&+]|[!*\(\),]|(?:%[0-9a-fA-F][0-9a-fA-F]))+',
Categories: python Tags: , ,

Is a file binary?

June 17, 2014 Leave a comment

I want to process all text files in a folder recursively. (Actually, I want to extract all URLs from them). However, their extensions are not necessarily .txt. How to separate text files from binary files?

In this thread I found a solution. Here is my slightly modified version:

def is_binary(fname):
    Return true if the given filename is binary.

    found at
    CHUNKSIZE = 1024
    with open(fname, 'rb') as f:
        while True:
            chunk =
            if '\0' in chunk: # found null byte
                return True
            if len(chunk) < CHUNKSIZE:
                break # done

    return False

If it finds a '\0' character, then the file is considered to be binary. Note that it will also classify UTF-16-encoded text files as “binary”.

Categories: python Tags: ,

virtualenvwrapper (Part 2)

Here I describe how I use virtualenvwrapper.

I keep my virtual environments in the default location (~/.virtualenvs folder). My Python projects are kept in Dropbox. If a project (call it “stuff” for instance) has a virtual env., then I add the suffix “_project” to the projects’s folder name (resulting “stuff_project” in this example). This way I can see it immediately (without entering the folder) that it has an attached venv.

In the stuff_project folder create a requirements.txt file that contains all the modules that you installed in your venv. This way you can re-create your venv on another machine and continue to work on yout project.

Let’s see a concrete example. Say I want to create a new Django project:

$ cd $HOME/Dropbox/python/webapps
$ mkdir stuff_project
# ^ every project file will be in this folder
$ cd stuff_project
$ startproject stuff
# ^ create the Django project
$ mkvirtualenv stuff_project
# ^ venv is created AND activated
$ pip install django
$ pip install django-extensions
# ^ useful extensions
$ pip freeze --local >requirements.txt
# ^ packages installed in the venv are listed in this file

Since I put the project folder in Dropbox, it will be synced on all my machines. What to do if I want to work on this project on another machine of mine (let’s call it “machine #2″)? The virtual environment will be missing. But there is no need to worry. We have a requirements.txt file and from this we can populate a newly created venv. Install virtualenvwrapper on machine #2 and create an empty venv for the project:

# actions to perform on machine #2:
$ cd $HOME/Dropbox/python/webapps/stuff_project
$ mkvirtualenv stuff_project
# ^ the venv is created and activated
$ pip install -r requirements.txt
# ^ packages are installed in the venv

When you are done with the project, deactivate the venv with the “deactivate” command. Since it’s too long, I put an alias on it:

alias off='deactivate'

If you install new packages in the venv, don’t forget to update the requirements.txt file ( pip freeze >requirements.txt )!

virtualenvwrapper (Part 1)

I use virtualenv but so far it’s been enough for me. However, the time has come to step on to the next level: virtualenvwrapper. Virtualenvwrapper is just a wrapper around virtualenv, but it makes working with virtualenv so much easier.

I keep all my Python projects in Dropbox. Every project is located in a dedicated folder. If I use virtualenv, inside a project folder I need to create a subfolder for the the virtual environment (typically called “venv”). However, this folder can be really huge. In the case of a Flask project it can be up to 50-60 MB. Keeping it in Dropbox is a luxury. It would be great to move the virtual environments outside of Dropbox. My first idea was to put a symbolic link on the venv folder from the project folder but Dropbox doesn’t support symlinks :(

Let’s use virtualenvwrapper! Virtualenvwrapper was created with this idea: collect virtual environments in a separated folder, outside of your projects. In addition, it’s very easy to switch between virtual environments.

Here are some great resources on virtualenvwrapper:

For more info, refer to Bob’s blog (last link above), where he gives a very nice summary about the usage of virtualenvwrapper.

Categories: python Tags: ,

Getting started with Django on a DigitalOcean VPS

Django is a high-level Python framework for developing web applications rapidly. DigitalOcean’s Django One-Click app quickly deploys a preconfigured development environment to your VPS employing Django, Nginx, Gunicorn, and Postgres.

More info here.


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